Look at the current landscape of American comedy in TV and film, and you will see an institution that has been shaped, molded and influenced by one show more than any other, for 39 years. Saturday Night Live has consistently proven itself to be the training ground for some of the best writers and performers in the business today, and it is preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Created by Lorne Michaels, and developed by Dick Ebersol (previously NBC’s Vice President of late-night programming) in 1975, Saturday Night Live is the late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show that was designed to parody culture and politics with a repertory cast, celebrity guest hosts and a musical guest performance each week. It is one of the longest-running network TV shows in America, with a bulging trophy cabinet that includes 36 prime-time Emmys, 3 Writer’s Guild Association awards and a Peabody. In 2012, it took the record for most Emmy nominations to be earned by one show, with 156 to its name at that point.
Such an asset as reaching its 40th season needs to be recognized in style, of course – which seems to be exactly what NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt intends to do, with a three-hour special on February 15 2015.
“Saturday Night Live is an institution unlike anything in television history […] The many brilliant ‘Not Ready For Primetime Players’ over the years is a who’s who of film and television comedy for the last two generations. The roster includes everyone from the iconic first cast in 1975 to household names ranging from Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler, to Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers – to name only a few.
This brand, which is still one of the highest-rated comedies on television, was the brainchild of Lorne Michaels, who still presides over the whole enterprise today. This special is just one of the many ways we plan to celebrate SNL’s historic 40th season next year.”
What exactly we can expect from this very special episode is unclear for now, but it will surely involve the return of some legends to the SNL stage. Both in terms of cast and writers, some truly stellar individuals have trod that soundstage – from the earliest days with Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray, to Larry David, Conan O’Brien, Bob Odenkirk, Stephen Colbert, Adam McKay, Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sarah Silverman and Dennis Miller.
Where would the current iteration of American comedy be without Fred Armisen, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Maya Rudolph, Will Ferrell, Chris Rock, Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Greg Daniels and Michael Schur? Without Saturday Night Live, there may never have been Parks And Recreation, The Office, 30 Rock, or Anchorman. We would never have enjoyed The Blues Brothers, the Wayne’s World movies, or Coneheads. Even Bob Roberts and Office Space have their origins on the show.
It’s fair to say that with such a lengthy and influential history to commemorate, the celebrations won’t be confined to a single three-hour Saturday Night Live special. Whatever else is being planned, you can bet it will be epic. And funny.
Source: Screen Rant